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JET or Birminingham Lux ?

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  • JET or Birminingham Lux ?

    I am looking to buy a new lathe. The 13x40 Jet GH1340W or the Lux 13x40.Both are about 1900-2000 lbs.The Lux is advertised to be a
    precision lathe.The Jet I hear is ok and easy to get parts for.The Lux has a 8"bed of meehanite the Jet 10.5" cast iron.Lux Taiwan Jet China. I want to do rifle chambers and other related work.I do not have 3 phase so will need VFD or something else for the Lux, the Jet comes in single phase. Any thoughts or comments would be a great help. Thanks Glenn

  • #2
    maybe just a little more, but a much better machine (my opioion)

    please visit my webpage:


    • #3

      Excuse me but meehanite == cast iron !!



      • #4
        Meehanite is a licensed process for producing cast irons to specifications required by various applications. It is a much better material than generic cast iron, which can be just about anything that comes along.

        Taiwanese lathes are generally regarded as being of better quality than Chinese, so a Taiwanese Meehanite lathe is more likely to be of better quality than a cast iron Chinese.

        The Lion lathes get good press, they are European, but do not seem to come in the smaller 12"-13" sizes.
        Jim H.


        • #5
          I have a Jet GHB-1340 and strongly considered the Lux at the time of purchase. I'm sorry I didn't purchase the Lux (which is made in Taiwan, from my understanding). If you would like more detail, e-mail me.


          • #6
            Birminingham Lux and the Kent are both exceptional Lathes for the money.
            Also... If at all possible... go for a VFD.
            You'll be really happy with it.

            Tom M.

            [This message has been edited by mayfieldtm (edited 04-19-2005).]


            • #7
              Have the birmingham 1440. tons of features,very heavy,rigid (which should translate into better precision),hardened ways etc..If you go with the VFD post for wiring tips.Chinese don't color code as we do plus a lot of your electrical controls (fwd,rev, jog, emerg stop,etc.) will need to be rerouted to the VFD which is no biggie.


              • #8
                The part that worries me is that I may not get the right VFD or not be able to hook it up to use all my lathe controls. The one I was thinking about was the Teco FM 100 for a 3HP.The RPC sounds easy and the pump will work $515.00 to my door for a 7.5 HP. Thanks Glenn



                • #9

                  The issue you will have with using a VFD is that it is not a plug and play operation to use the lathe controls and the VFD. VFDs don't like having something like a switch between the VFD and the motor. This means having to reconfigure the switches so they come before the VFD. It can be done, but it will take some rewiring to make it work.


                  • #10
                    If you use a VFD, you would eliminate the lathe controls and use the VFD for the lathe functions. Most VFD's should not have any kind of switch or other control between them and the motor.

                    If the only consideration keeping you from using a VFD is the coolant pump, in my opinion, you would be money ahead and have many more features at your disposal to use a VFD and replace the pump with a single phase unit.

                    Rotary phase convertors are expensive to buy and operate, and limited in features. The infinitely variable speed, soft start, braking, speed changes on the fly and other features available in a VFD make them an asset even if three phase is readily available.
                    Jim H.


                    • #11
                      We had Jet, LUX and Grizzly lathes in our shop,They are all the same, change the motors to U.S. and install bearings in place of the bored cast iron holes buy new knobs and install american bolts and you have a decent machine.
                      Non, je ne regrette rien.


                      • #12
                        With the VFD that i have you can use what they call logic controls which uses low voltage.You can still utilize all your original switches. Small gage wire such as telephone cable can be wired from the VFD to say your fwd rev handle switch on the lathe back to the VFD. The same with the jog button etc.. You just bypass all the original wiring and run new simple circuits but still use the original switches.


                        • #13
                          We had Jet, LUX and Grizzly lathes in our shop,They are all the same, change the motors to U.S. and install bearings in place of the bored cast iron holes


                          Specifically which locations did you upgrade with bearings?


                          Paul T.


                          • #14
                            Purchased a Birmingham 1440 awhile ago. It was setup for 220 single phase. I have been very pleased with the performance. The only change I made was the tool post, changed it to a quick change.



                            • #15
                              We bored out and installed bearings for the crossslide and installed sleeve bearings in
                              the lead and feed screw. We dialed the head stock and change bearings there too if the run out was excessive.
                              I believe there was a HSM series on this type of work where someone did this to a mill/drill. I think it was by a Mr. Johnson
                              Non, je ne regrette rien.